More than a full year had passed since Rina Shnerb (17 at the time) was killed when Palestinian terrorists detonated a bomb along a popular hiking trail in Samaria. A full year with no civilian deaths from Palestinian terror attacks. Until Wednesday, when an Israeli man was fatally stabbed by a Palestinian with a work permit near Tel Aviv.
The gap between those two tragic deaths marked the first time in 56 years that Israel had gone a full year without a terror-related civilian death.
In 1964, no Israeli civilians died in terror attacks, though 100 IDF soldiers did lose their lives fighting Muslim militants. This past year, the IDF lost one soldier, Amit Ben Yigal, who was killed when a Palestinian terrorist his unit was trying to arrest hurled a large concrete block from the roof of his apartment building.
All of this is not to say Israel hasn’t suffered terrorist attacks over the past year. Even with much of the nation on lockdown for the better part of the spring months, there were dozens serious terror attempts that left many Israelis wounded, and likely hundreds more that failed to cause any casualties.
Nor does anyone believe that the desire of Palestinian terror groups to harm Israelis has somehow waned. All anyone need do to know that is not the case is look at this week’s rocket and fire balloon attacks from Gaza.
Even so, and contrary to increased bluster from the Palestinian leadership, average Palestinian Arabs have told us and other Israeli media outlets that they are tiring of incessant conflict, and just want to live quietly and in peace. That sentiment is likely to grow, much to the chagrin of the Palestinian Authority, in the wake of other Arab states normalizing relations with Israel.